Header Image - Getting the words out by any means possible.

Shreddin' the G

This is what it would have looked like if we had pictures taken.

This is what it would have looked like if we had pictures taken.

I had the chance to jump on the Upper Gauley last Friday–in a Shredder no less. It’s the first time I’ve been on it this fall and the first time I’ve done it a Shredder since the mid-90’s. It was as fun and satisfying as I remember.

Any time there is a layoff between Gauley runs, I run through all the worst case scenarios in my mind. Those melt away with the first rapids. There is nothing like the Gauley River.

The Gauley, or the New River, or the Upper Yough in Maryland all do the same thing. They help me forget about the day to day stuff for a while and shift the focus onto things metaphysical. Not in heavy sort of way, just a gentle reminder of what’s real and manufactured. It’s a way to take a break from reality to better understand it.

It makes it just a little easier to sit down at the keyboard and write. Thanks goes out to Jim Maxwell for making the call Thursday night and setting things in motion.


by Jonathan 0 Comments

I found out this morning on my Google Reader (if you read a lot of blogs and don’t have a reader, do yourself a favor and get one) that my flash fiction piece After the Golden Times won Jay Lake’s flash fiction open contest. I’m thrilled. In an earlier post I indicated that I was excited to be included in the top five. To cap it off like this and win a signed copy of Green–sweet sassy molassy.

In celebration, I’ve changed my header with an honest to god picture of words and coffee, taken in my writing shed in the afternoon sunlight. That’s the cup from which I enjoy hot, black coffee and the dictionary I use when my internet connection is on the fritz.

More WIP

Another chunk of The River Lords for your reading endurement.

“You look well, Kaeo,” Akki said, eyes intent on mine. “Is your father about?” he asked.

“He’s resting but I can go get him.”

Akki surveyed my home, taking in our bamboo stilt house, the dock and father’s sampan floating opposite his as if trusting his eyes more than my words.

“Let him rest for now,” he said. He fixed his gaze on me once more, appraising.

“River trading has done you some good. You no longer wear the softness of a child.”

His words made me feel proud. “I’ve already seen twelve floods, plus I’ve been keeping busy. Father needs more help as the months go by, though he never admits it. I think it shames him every time I take over a task that used to be his.”

Akki nodded. “That is to be expected. What of Palat?”

I thought how I might phrase my answer so as to be favorable to my brother, but came up with nothing. Palat had come around less frequently since discovering honey oil, wasting his days among the derelicts deep in the forest, foraging for food when he could muster the energy. As the space between his question and my answer, or lack thereof, grew uncomfortably long, Akki perceptively redirected our conversation.

“Let us talk of more pleasant things. Have you studied the leaves I left?”

Current Work in Progress

by Jonathan 4 Comments

Monastery in fog

Yesterday I posted about a short story on which I am currently working called The River Lords. Here are a few words:

The Hermitage loomed out of the mist to our left as we passed, its shape blending with the silhouettes of ancient trees framing the equally ancient stone walls. Our sampan passed through a moss-draped arch into an expanse of placid water. Ahead, the white mist above and its reflection below joined to create an illusion of nothingness — no horizon, no water, no sky. Pungent, moist decay mingled with hints of earth and stone and vegetation to scent the air. I pulled at the great oar, then pushed, feathering the blade to keep it silent and move the boat through the mist. We passed through another arch — the River Gate this time — and the receiving platform appeared. What I thought were dark pillars lining the stone wharf resolved into a contingent of Jao Naam waiting to receive us.

The Race

by Jonathan 0 Comments
Coming Round the Last Turn

Coming Round the Last Turn


The Jay Lake contest voting continues. I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised that it’s gone the way it has thus far, but Adrian Faulkner is fighting back with his story “The Salt of Life” (an awesome story, by the way). This has been fun and exciting. The entries are:

The Salt of Life

Philosophy and Headwear



and After the Golden Times (it’s untitled in Jay’s poll because I neglected to include the title. Smooth.)

I have no idea when Mr. Lake will be closing the poll, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, head on over and have a read.

Update 9/17/09 8:09PM

Jay Lake posted that the poll will close either Sunday night or Monday. You know what to do.